Choosing web hosting isn’t always a quick task. Just one search on Google will pull up thousands upon thousands of web hosts promising you the Earth if you sign up with them. But if there’s one thing you do to ensure your business prospers online, it’s choosing a good web host.
Bad web hosting can affect all sorts of things. Things you wouldn’t even imagine it affecting. Like how much money your business actually makes. Just some of the ways bad web hosting from cheap, unreliable hosts can affect your business are:
Knock-on effect with SEO
Less visitors returning to your website
Visitors less likely to recommend your website
Customers less likely to interact with your website
People will leave quicker and take longer to come back
Your website will not always be reachable
Customers will take their business elsewhere
Google loves speedy, well optimised websites full of great content. This is because Google knows, the best businesses invest in themselves and this means investing in their customers and the experience they receive. If 10 people find your website a day and your website doesn’t respond, or takes 10 seconds to load. Let me tell you how many of those people will wait for it to load – absolutely none. Or on rare occasions the odd person may wait but won’t stick around long enough to find interest in what it has to offer.
Look Out For Guarantees
A good web host will likely have guarantees that they have in place, if they don’t live up to certain promises. Our own SLA is a promise to provide 99% uptime for any month your web hosting is in place, for example. Many web hosts are the same, offering to repair the damage caused by your site being down, if only for a few minutes. Downtime for websites has a knock-on effect across your SEO and with visitors in general.
If you’re not 100% happy with your web hosting, many web hosts offer refunds within the first 7 or so days of your package.
Notice The Features
Web hosting usually is quite a complex task, however, with bad web hosts it usually looks very simple. An example of a bad web host usually looks very vague and doesn’t show you exactly what the package includes. Does it have a control panel to manage the web hosting? Does it have access to MySQL and in some cases SSH (command line)? Would you easily be able to cancel the package? Can you easily install scripts and packages of your own?
Look For Support
Before anything, you should check out how supported the service is. Does it have an easily accessible support area? Does it have a ticketing system? We provide a direct phone number to our Support team. If you can’t get through to us there, we have a ticketing system and they’re all tied in together and keep you updated via email at all stages. You can be sure that if you host your website with us, you’re well supported.
We also have a dedicated client area where you can manage many aspects of your account. Good web hosts will always have a place you can login to and manage your account. If they don’t, that’s a red flag.
Look At The Pricing
Pricing can sometimes tell the story for itself. Good web hosting usually ranges from £15 – £45 dependent on what sort of package it is. If it’s ridiculously cheap, in the single digits. It’s usually a bad idea. If you pay cheap prices, you’ll likely get cheap service.
What Sort of Security Does it Have?
Could your web host protect you from a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack? Could it protect you from malicious brute force attacks and security flaws? Is the server maintained and upgraded with the latest patches and security hot-fixes on a regular basis? These are all the questions you should be asking about security, before committing to purchase.
A good web host will be transparent about the security features they have in place and it should be a major selling point to end users. Nothing is more important than having your website protected from multiple attack vectors.
Above all else, listen to your gut feeling about a web host. It’s usually right. If the website offering the web hosting, is lacking in explanation and nobody gets back to you with the right answers – run for the hills.
It's good to know. Intel Digital are an accredited registrar with Nominet, the governing body of domains in the UK. If you're ever in doubt, you can check a registrars Nominet status by visiting the link below.